The Belgian artist Wim Delvoye — who may just have the best artist Web site we know of — opens his solo show “At the Louvre” today… at the Louvre. The exhibition, which is dispersed across various parts of the museum rather than being concentrated in a series of contiguous galleries, spans the Gothic objects galleries, the Napoleon III apartments, and the surrounding Tuileries gardens, with its centerpiece — a large and very phallic sculpture of laser-cut steel whose patterns evoke cathedral façades — hanging under the museum’s glass pyramid.
The work, titled “Suppo” (2012) — for “suppository” — is about 40 feet tall, and is on view with some 30 other works by the conceptual artist, sculptor, and designer, through September 17. “Such a beautiful suppository is just another way of surprising people,” Delvoye told AFP. “The pyramid is like a butt.”
The artist explained that he hesitated between calling the sculpture “Suppo” and “Doner Kebab,” in homage to the Middle-Eastern sandwich whose shape it evokes. He said: “The Louvre preferred something scatalogical that does not make reference to any cultural differences and couldn’t be deemed discriminatory.”
Other works in the exhibition are no more likely to please France’s cultural conservatives: the Napoleon III apartments include a trio of fiberglass pigs adorned in ornate rugs, and nearby a sculpture shows a deer and a doe engaged in an unnatural sex act.
Delvoye, for his part, couldn’t be happier to be showing at the Louvre. “It’s a very strong brand,” he said, “like Led Zeppelin or Microsoft.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image: “Suppo,” scale model 1:2, 2011; courtesy the artist.)